novels on gardening

luvdogs(z10? AZ)September 19, 2004

Does anyone have any suggestions for NOVELS that are about gardening? (i.e. fiction) I expect to just purchase from thanx/vicky

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Vicky, Not exactly novels but if you haven't read them, I'd recommend the delightful series of books by Beverly Nichols. They have very little actual how-to gardening advice but lots of interesting characters and his enthusiastic and amusing experiences planning and planting gardens, first for a tiny cottage, later a large Georgian house and grounds, then a city garden.

Another favorite is Henry Mitchell. Again not a novelist but just sort of rambles about his own garden and others, talking about plants, the history of plants and gardens, the strange obsessons we gardeners can develop...and he's witty and thought-provoking and I reread his books almost every winter. :)

I don't read much contemporary fiction but even in the books written much earlier, I don't know of any centered around gardening. Jane Austen for instance or John Galsworthy mentioned plants and grdens but only briefly. Nero Wolfe, the mystery writer, mentioned his orchids and rooftop greenhouse often but it wasn't central to his stories. I think I have seen mention of a current mystery writer with a series based on something to do with gardens, but the books were panned as mysteries. :)

Maybe someone else can be more helpful...josh

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 5:07AM
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there is a series of mysteries by John Sherwood that is pretty good featuring Celia Grant. I believe most are out of print now, but you can find them at Amazon. Also, try Ann Ripley's Louise Eldrige series about a gardener on her local PBS station. Janis Harrison writes about a florist named Bretta Solomon.
I found a few authors that I have not tried yet. Nancy Means Wright, Jennifer Blake, and Fforde.
There is another series that I just can't remember the name of either the author or character that I enjoyed about a botanist hired to restore a gentleman's garden, but the man is murdered. If I can ever remember it, I'll let you know.
If you are not looking for mysteries, I am afraid I can't help you.
Hopefully, this will give you a starting point!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 11:55PM
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harleylady(PNW/USDA 8b/Sunset 6)

Mary Freeman's mysteries have Rachel, a young woman landscape business owner/operator getting herself involved in some dangerous situations. Her business is in the gorgeous Columbia Gorge and those in the Pacific NorthWET who know the Gorge will recognize many of the places used as background in the book. One of Freeman's books may be one Kay is thinking about. Because of the character development, it's best to read the books in order. They are, not necessarily in order:

Deadly Nightshade
Devil's Trumpet
Bleeding Heart
Garden View

I also really enjoyed Beverly Nichols, mentioned above.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 7:42AM
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Thenk you, thank you, thank you, HarleyLady! I have tried and tried to think of that author! I believe that is the one! I'm going to try to get to the used bookstore near me and see if they have Mary Freeman's books. While I'm there, I'll see if they have any other suggestions for Vicky.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 10:28PM
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Hi, Vicky!
I went to the used bookstore today and found a few authors and titles for you (all mysteries, if that's o.k.) This list came from 2 books "Women of Mystery" and "Men of Mystery". The editions they had were both from 1999, so you might find a more current one at your library or a bookstore. Some of these I had forgotten about when I first replied.

Author Main Character

Susan Wittig Albert China Bayles
Alisa craig Dittany and Osbert Monk
Joan Hadley Theo Bloomer
Charlotte McCloud Peter and Helen Shandy
Margaret Miles C. Willet and R. Longfellow
Ann Ripley Louise Eldridge
Lora Roberts Liz Sullivan
Rebecca Rothenberg Clare Sharples
Nancy Means Wright Ruth Willmarth
James Fraser William Aveyard

Hope this gives you some good reading.

P.S. Sorry, I can't seem to get this post to work in columns.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 12:32AM
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harleylady(PNW/USDA 8b/Sunset 6)

Kay, glad I was able to help...I just hate that feeling of knowing something and not being able to it's right on the tip of your tongue (memory)....

I googled on book lists gardening fiction and variations of that phrasing and came up with lots of lists. Here's just one and below it a list of links to other lists:

Blooming Books: Gardens, Gardeners & Gardening

Susan Wittig Albert Hangman's Root
Rosemary Remembered
Witches Bane
Nancy Atherton Aunt Dimity and the Duke
Marion Babson Guilty Party
Giorgio Bassant Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Valerie Townsend Bayer City of Childhood
Metaphysics of Sex
Forbidden Objects
Lawrence Block Topless Tulip Caper
Elizabeth Buchan Consider the Lily
Dorothy Cannell Down the Garden Path
Karel Capek Tales from Two Pockets
Agatha Christie Murder at the Vicarage
Wilkie Collins Moonstone
K.C. Constantine The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes
Alisa Craig Grub-and-Stakers House a Haunt
Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain
Grub-and-Stakers Quilt a Bee
Philip R. Craig Beautiful Place to Die
Double-Minded Men
Women Who Walked Into the Sea
Marjorie Dorner Freeze Frame
John Keith Drummond Thy Sting, Oh Death
'Tis the Season to be Dying
Rosemary Enright The Walled Garden
E.X. Ferrars Crime and the Crystal
Murder Too Many
Other Devil's Name
Smoke Without Fire
Something Wicked
Richard Forrest Death Under the Lilacs
Anthea Fraser Six Proud Walkers
Frances Fyfield Question of Guilt
Leon Garfield Pleasure Garden
Jon Godden In Her Garden
Rumor Godden Episode of Sparrows
Eileen Goudge Garden of Lies
Caroline Graham Killings at Badger's Drift
Murder at Maddingly Grange
Ann Granger Say it With Poison
Joan Hadley Deadly Ackee
Alice Hoffman Practical Magic
Muriel Resnik Jackson Garden Club
Emma Lathen Green Grow the Dollars
Elizabeth Lemarchand Change for the Worse
Ngaio Marsh Grave Mistake
Mary McMullen Grave Without Flowers
Barbara Michaels Vanish With the Rose
Gladys Mitchell Death Cap Dancers
B. J. Morison Champagne and a Gardener
Ellis Peters A Morbid Taste for Bones
Brother Cadfael Series
Rosamunde Pilcher The Shell Seekers
Ruth Rendell The Crocodile Bird
Talking to Strange Men
Ann Ripley Mulch
Elliot Roosevelt Murder in the Rose Garden
Rebecca Rothenberg Bulrush Murders: A Botanical Mystery
Dandelion Murders
Betty Rowlands Little Gentle Sleuthing
Helen Santmyer Herbs and Apples
Dorothy Sayers Busman's Honeymoon
John Sherwood Flowers of Evil
Bones Gather No Moss
Green Trigger Fingers
A Botanist at Bay
Carol Shields The Stone Diaries
Celestine Sibley Ah, Sweet Mystery
Straight as an Arrow
Sheila Simonson Larkspur
J.I.M. Stewart Andrew and Tobias
Faith Sullivan Cape Ann
Rosanne Dary Thomas The Angel Carver
William Trevor Silence in the Garden
Jessamyn West Friendly Persuasion
Phyllis Whitney Hunter's Green

More links:

Here is a link that might be useful: More garden fiction

    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 9:33AM
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Wow! I LIKE this forum,
I wanted to add a personal favorite, Eleanor Perenyi's " Green Thoughts" .
It is not a novel but rather reflections on gardening all that surrounds it, absolutely charming, this is how I get trough winter and Finding this spot was perfect timing.
Good Dormancy, everyone !

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 11:55AM
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suzannie(zn6 pa)

What a great post!! Thanks to all who contributed - I am printing it out and going to search my used bokstore and the internet for all my winter reading.

I have one personal favorite - "Night Gardening" by E.L. Swann- it is a beautiful love story.

Hope you enjoy.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 9:21AM
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angelfairy(Z-8 S.AL)

I highly recommend; The Gardeners Reading Guide by Jan Dean and Foreword by Allen Lacy. She categorizes all the books by type, starting with "HOW I DID IT"/ESSAYS/ANTHOLOGIES/BIOGRAPHIES OF FAMOUS GARDENERS/PLANT HUNTERS/GARDENS IN FICTION/etc, etc. It is as much fun to read as the books themselves!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2005 at 6:57AM
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angelfairy(Z-8 S.AL)

I have quite a few books on memoirs of gardeners on my exchange page if someone would like to trade for them. Check them out and let me know.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 7:51AM
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myohhmy(z5 MICH)

I don't know if this is what you are looking for or not, but I love Chicken Soup for the Gardener Soul. Very uplifting and fun short stories.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2005 at 12:17AM
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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

Carol Shields, _Larry's Party_.
Shields is a wonderful writer. Her protagonist designs garden mazes. Shields has also written some short stories involving gardens or plants.

Barbara Kingsolver, _Prodigal Summer_.
THis novel has 2 or 3 interrelated stories, one of which is about a young woman, recently married and then widowed, who struggles to learn farming.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 1:38PM
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The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys - a wonderful, short novel which takes place in England during the war, about a woman who oversees a group of "Land Girls" on an old estate in the country, and the garden she discovers and restores - nicely written!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 3:01PM
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jgaughran(z6 NY)

Best gardening novel I've ever read is "Rose's Garden" by Carrie Brown. A beautiful, beautiful book.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 7:35PM
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Baxter_bud(TN Zone 6)

Have you read any books by Glady Taber? She is my all time favorite author! Her books deal with gardening, and all things concerning countrylife. She wrote articles in several womens magazines during the 40's and 50's, and has quite a following, even today.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 7:36PM
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A Garden in Tuscany. Not really a novel but reads like one. Very enjoyable.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 4:53PM
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drasaid(zone 8)

You won't believe this-Science Fiction Plant Porn!
Well, it's not REALLY porn but it does get pretty steamy and there are several episodes of, um, Pollination. Nekkid folk and giant sentiant orchids! Woo Hoo!
It's not a bad book and he does get his botany right. The whole idea is that it has been discovered that the universe will collapse eventually and only plant life (i.e. seeds) could survive it; Freda Caron's libido and the sentiant orchids make sure at least some human DNA has a chance in the next universe. If you like your flowers up close and personal this one is for you.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 7:40PM
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Hi All,

I was surfing around Garden Web and saw Vicky's 'very old' post about gardening fiction novels. I am publishing a novel that will hopefully be available in November 2008 that has many gardening aspects to it. I volunteer as a master gardener in my community and gardening inevitably finds its way into my stories.

My book is called My Way Home and is the story of Cammy, a woman who finds herself at the age of 48 having to make a new life for herself, and it is on St. Gabriel Island that she begins to see what that new life could be. For over twenty years, Cammy had dreamt of someday visiting the Island. Charming old buildings line its main street, grand homes, cottages, gardens, and woods cover the rest. And the best part, no cars, just horses, bikes, and snowmobiles in the winter.

It is on St. Gabriel that Cammy meets Sara a thirty something free-spirit and a cast of locals that befriend and challenge her. And when she finds an old abandoned lodge she must decide if she will risk everything to embark on a cross country move to live on the island and restore a lodge, gardens, and orchards.

My Way Home is a story of forgiveness and love that is filled with heartbreak, humor, and a little bit of mystery.

I am an idependently published author and will be relying on creative avenues to get the word out about my book. If anyone would like me to let them know when my book is available for purchase, please e-mail me and Ill add you to my list.

Thanks and Happy Gardening and Reading,
Cynthia lee Cartier

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 1:56AM
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marthacr(z5 Me)

I don't think anyone mentioned Anthony Elgin. I especially loved his "The Lost Gardens."


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:24PM
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terrysal(7b Denton, TX)

I just finished reading A Cat by Any Other Name, An Alice Nestleton Mystery by Lydia Adamson. It was an okay read, but not much information on the herb in this story(catnip). I was a little disappointed, but I'll be looking for more of her books to see what the others are like.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:39AM
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Hey Vicki and everyone else! Great suggestions here. I just read a new book of very very funny gardeners' stories, "Tales As Tall As Sunflowers," by Stephen Butterman. I'll post a publisher's link below, and its probably on, too. The author, who seems somewhat eccentric, uses his place in the garden, combined with kids, weeds, bugs, current events and his spicy girlfriend Maria, to create some real down-to-earth humor. The funniest ones will make you laugh out loud; the least of them will at least make you smile. Check it out!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:35PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

snap is really smitten by this book it seems and has promoted it on 11 threads

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Sarah Addison Alen - Garden Spells. Quite possibly my favourite book ever, especially since I also LOVE cooking.

Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 4:49AM
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If you like romance novels, there is a trio by Nora Roberts about a woman who owns a greenhouse/landscaping business and two other women who work for her. Each novel centers on one of the three women and her story. They are "Blue Dahlia," "Black Rose," and "Red Lily." They also include a ghost story that runs through the whole trio. There wasn't a tremendous amount of gardening information, but I liked that background and Nora Roberts herself says she loves gardening, which does come through in the novels.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 2:09PM
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I don't think anyone mentioned Anthony Elgin. I especially loved his "The Lost Gardens."

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:06PM
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